Social engineering attacks can be prevented by being aware of such attacks. Read on to know how to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of social engineering attacks.
When it comes to online security and privacy, we know there are tools like antivirus, firewalls, VPNs, etc., that offer security and will keep you safe from becoming a victim of cybersecurity threats online. This article explains how to stay protected from social engineering attacks that focus more on human vulnerabilities.
Just like the other forms of online attacks, social engineering is a kind of hacking attempt. These attacks are on the rise now as these attacks are pretty harder to spot and are more personal. With such attacks increasing day by day, it is crucial to be aware of these attacks and understand how to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of social engineering attacks.
Let’s understand what social engineering attacks are and how an SSL can protect you from social engineering attacks.
What is Social Engineering?
A common cybersecurity threat, social engineering attacks are carried out through human interactions. The attacker takes advantage of the weakest link in security, which is humans. They use emotional manipulation to make employees divulge sensitive information or make security mistakes. Though organizations invest a lot in security, in this type of attack, attackers leverage human vulnerabilities more than technological vulnerabilities. However, you can prevent yourself from becoming a victim of such attacks by taking specific precautionary measures.
This attack may happen in a few steps or in just one quick step. Attackers generally gather necessary background information before they carry out the attack. Once they identify their victim and when all the needed information is ready, they gain the trust of the victim. Followed by that, the attacker encourages the victim to make moves that would break the security mechanism so the attacker can gain access to sensitive information. Social engineering attacks are considered dangerous as they rely more on human vulnerabilities.
Can an SSL certificate protect you from a social engineering attack? Read on to know more about the differnet ways through which social engineering attacks can be prevented.
Ways to Prevent Social Engineering Attacks
SSL Certificates to Protect Against Social Engineering Attacks
By encrypting your online communication, and your emails, you can stay away from social engineering attacks. Hackers generally carry out social engineering attacks by intercepting communications. So, encrypting communications using an SSL certificate is one of the best ways to keep social engineering attacks at bay. An SSL certificate, which is more like a tamper-proof seal for an envelope, will provide authentication for a website and establish an encrypted connection. When an SSL is enabled, though hackers gain access to your communication, they will not be able to read it. You can secure your website using an SSL certificate from a trusted certificate authority like Comodo, Geotrust, or RapidSSL to secure your data.
Verify the Website’s Identity Before Sharing Sensitive Data
You have to be cautious when you provide sensitive data online. Beware of websites that ask for sensitive data but look suspicious. Before you provide your personal data, check if the website is secured by an SSL certificate by looking for “https://” before the URL. Remember, websites that run on “http” will not offer a secure and private connection so never share sensitive details on one such website.
Be Suspicious of Unrecognized people and Unsolicited Communications
In order to stay away from social engineering attacks, you must be suspicious of unrecognized people and unsolicited calls, messages, and emails. Do not respond to such emails and share sensitive data like information about your company, its employees, systems, and networks. If you receive one such email or phone call, you can verify the identity of that individual before you share the requested data.
Create Awareness Among Employees by Conducting Training Programs
Organizations can design security awareness training programs to help employees understand how cybercriminals rely on human vulnerabilities to carry out social engineering attacks. Including examples of how hackers carry out these attacks in the training program will help employees be cautious and help them identify such attacks and also eliminate them.
Conduct Penetration Testing
Conducting penetration testing is one of the most effective ways to prevent social engineering attacks. Pen-tests will help organizations detect potential vulnerabilities and fix issues if any before cybercriminals can exploit those vulnerabilities. Once a penetration test is done, a report with potential vulnerabilities will be generated. This report will help identify the employee or the system that needs concentration, using which frauds and vulnerabilities can be mitigated.
Cybercriminals carry out social engineering attacks to quickly breach the security measures of an organization. It is essential to be aware of such attacks and take the necessary measures to prevent such attacks. The first step is creating awareness of social engineering attacks among employees so that they do not become victims of such attacks and end up sharing sensitive data about the organization with a hacker.